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Drugs That Cause Depression

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If you think a drug you're taking might be causing your depression, you may be right. Certain medications prescribed for various medical conditions do cause such feelings as sadness, despair, and discouragement. And those are feelings that are often associated with depression. Other medicines prescribed for medical problems can trigger mania (excessive elation and energy) that's usually associated with bipolar disorder.

Medications that cause mania or depression appear to alter brain chemicals in some way. And even though the drugs may be necessary to treat the condition, the side effect is hardly acceptable. As an example, Accutane, which is prescribed for the treatment of acne, has been found to also sometimes cause depression. So have oral contraceptives, high blood pressure drugs, and even statins that treat high cholesterol.

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Could a kitten's purr or a dog's wagging tail help with your depression? It might. "Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression," says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA. Studies show that animals can reduce tension and improve mood. Along with treatment, pets can help some people with mild to moderate depression feel better. If you're depressed, here's a rundown of how pets could help. ...

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How Can I Kinow if a Drug May Be Causing Depression or Mania?

The best way to know if a drug could be affecting your mood in a negative way is to know which medicines commonly cause depression or mania. Then talk to your doctor to see if any of the medicines you are taking are likely causing or contributing to mood symptoms, and if so, discuss whether a different medication may be a better choice. Your doctor should let you know up front which drugs might cause feelings of depression or mania and should evaluate whether mood symptoms are or are not likely related to medicines.

Drugs That Might Cause Mania (Excessive Elation)

The following drugs could cause symptoms of mania. Even though the risk for some of these drugs might not be high, you should discuss the risk with your doctor if you take them:

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